Chapter 5 Case Study
1. What kind of reinforcers does Salatino use to motivate his salespeople? Salatino’s methods are primarily based upon positive reinforcement methods, using secondary reinforcers. In the case study, it mentioned several devices in the salesroom. There are rotating blue lights that flash when a deal is on. There are large dry-erase boards where a manager would draw “snowballs” at the end of each sale, which would serve as visual cues to the salespeople. By providing commissions to his salespeople, Salatino uses secondary reinforcers, ie money, to incentivize his salesforce to keep selling. Salespeople can receive between 5% and 12% commission, and the level of commission would provide an increasing incentive to sell the higher-commission items. I would assume that the salespeople that had been there awhile also might enjoy the frenetic pace of the sales floor, and that would serve as a secondary reinforcer for them to come to work each day. It’s probably an exciting environment for them to work in.
2. What kind of reinforcement schedule is used by Great Northern American to pay salespeople? I would break this question into two portions. Simplistically, Great Northern American probably uses a fixed interval schedule to pay their salespeople according to a specified pay period, perhaps biweekly or monthly. If you consider the earning of commission as “payment,” though, you could also argue that they use a form of a fixed ratio schedule to pay their salespeople. When the “sale is on,” each salesperson has great incentive to close as many deals as possible in the period, because they are going to be able to sell more and earn higher commissions during that time period. The case mentions that the noise and pace is “fast and furious.” This is in line with a description of the fixed ratio schedule, which “produces a high response rate when the time for reinforcement is close, followed by periods of steady...